Sunday, November 30, 2008

I made an apple pie on Saturday. It has been a long time since I have made one, at least 3 years. Now three years ago there is no way I would have used a filling out of a can. I mean really? Ew. (Although I must say, that my grandmother used to make the most amazing apple pie, using the canned filling...She also had crippling, deforming rheumatoid arthritis. It was OK for her to use it, and my mother too). So anyway, I was originally going to make it on Thanksgiving but made the peach cobbler instead. I figured I would surprise everyone on Saturday (Thanksgiving part deux) at my mother's house.

I am not quite sure when my decision to cross over to the dark side of not making the apple pie from scratch happened. I swear I don't even remember thinking about it. It just happened. It has been so long since I have seen the Wilderness brand filling. (at least 5 years, because Grandma has been gone about that long and I used to pick it up for her). I stood for what seemed WAY too long staring at the many options and wondering where the heck the filling in the plastic container (you know, the kind that cake frosting comes in) of the filling was. I couldn't find it. There were only cans. It was too overwhelming. I was sure I was buying the wrong thing.

Ok, I made the pie and it was terrible. NOTHING like grandma's. Or Mommy's. It was bland and just ick! Come to find out, Grandma and my mom always doctored it up with vanilla, cinnamon and butter....who knew!! I would have NEVER known that. I just unceremoniously opened the can (actually two cans) and poured them into the crust. Heelllooo?? Martha does not teach you those kinds of things, well maybe she has and I missed that tip. See, I grew up watching mommy and both grandmas make the pie from scratch, that was all I knew. (I am unsure about when my mother crossed the dark side...) and then of course YOU KNOW WHO came along. I mean really, she probably grows her own apples and vanilla bean for goodness sake! Why wouldn't she? She has hens and a garden...Makes sense. I don't think she would use canned filling (unless she canned it). Next time I will stick with what I know. I will make it from scratch.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

...That Lovin' Feelin'

I went to JoAnn today in search of fun Christmas decorating things and stuff for gifts (yes, to make). Didn't quite turn out the way I was anticipating. I swear I walked in there all inspired to knit scarves, sew aprons, make a quilt or two. I left with not one item to accomplish any of those projects....unless you count black thread....nah, I just needed that because I didn't have any.

Something has happened to me (possibly still happening?). I got a few feet in that store and I was repulsed! The thought of making something...Oh my goodness, I think I broke out in hives! It was pretty shocking. I enjoy sewing, knitting, crafts but the thought of devoting some time to it is really something I am not feeling. I tried to force the feeling to come back. I walked up and down every aisle. I touched the fabrics. I felt the soft Angel yarn. I handled the trim and buttons. Nope, nothing there. I even thumbed through some knitting books....(just made me mad).

So, there I was wandering around like a lost soul with a basket full of wrapping paper. I bought a couple of things that obviously I didn't need because it escapes me right now what they were.

Really, bring back that Lovin' Feelin'....

The Perfect Thanksgiving

Here it is. Another Thanksgiving come and gone. I can't help but marvel at the fact that I am not yet 40, yet I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner in my home for almost half my life so far. When I say hosted, I don't just mean everybody come over and use my house, I mean working-myself-into-a-frenzy-cooking everything from scratch-making sure-everything is perfect-oh my goodness is this something Martha (or my mother)would do? hosting. It made for many of tense situations between my husband and children when they were not in place...(hubby always seemed to disappear somewhere in the house about dawn, rarely to reappear until the guests were gone). I think back to all those years getting so caught up in the little details that I missed some wonderful opportunities to just be. Be with my grandmothers and great aunt and uncle who are no longer with us. Be with my family just enjoying them and catching up on their lives....Instead of lurking in the kitchen....

It's actually been two years since I have hosted at our home. When the youngest graduated from high school, I decided no more. Time for a change. That year we actually went nowhere! Hubby and I stayed home and watched the boxed set of a season of the TV show Lost. I didn't cook and it was okay! I don't even know if we ate! Last year dinner was hosted by my aunt and uncle. It was so nice to just show up somewhere with a dish and just eat and socialize without the pressure (self inflicted of course) to make everything just so.

This year though, despite telling everyone it was not going to be at my house, It was at my house. Only because my aunt made plans to host it at her clubhouse in the development they live in but somehow it was double booked and she had to be the one to lose out. How could I tell my favorite aunt no you can't have it at my house?? (in good conscience that is, I guess I could have said no...)

It was okay though. I guess technically, I didn't host because she made all the arrangements, set the time and planned the menu. All I did was make a turkey (and not that good of one either). I made a pie and a cake (because I wanted to). That was it. I used a piece of fabric....(the ends weren't even finished!!) for the table cloth. I was going to use pinking shears....I know!!! I didn't even sew it!(Mummy had a fit, but in the end even she was okay with it). I had multiple tables and the linens DIDN'T EVEN MATCH! (One was actually an old curtain...) I didn't care that the tables and chairs didn't match, I didn't care that I hadn't mopped the floor or vacuumed the rug (why?? It was going to get dirty anyway and no one was looking that closely at the floor and if they did...well WHATEVER) People, It was so liberating to just go with the flow. I enjoyed my family, I caught up on their lives. I was relaxed and really had a chance to think about how blessed I am.

Funny how life is. Now the kids have their own lives and their significant others to take into consideration when planning for the holidays. I have to respect that and not put pressure on them to make choices that will cause them to dread the holidays. I am so okay with that. This year finally I realized that there is perfection in imperfection. I couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving.